Thursday, August 31, 2017

Identifying the Australia 1953 Food Produce 3½d Scarlet "Butter" Retouch Beneath Milking Cup on Cow Types

For some months now I have been busy looking through hundreds of the Australia 1953 Produce Food 3½d Scarlet Butter stamp trying to find all of the different types of the “Retouch Beneath Milking Cup on Cow” variety. Well, I have some good news on that front. I have now managed to find an example of all types. There are 12 types in total, and I am going to share them all with you today in this blog.

This stamp was released on 11th February 1953 as part of the Produce Food series. This set was issued to draw attention to the Australian Campaign to increase food production to meet overseas requirements. These stamps were distinguished for being the first new design to be printed by Letterpress in 20 years.

The series incorporated three designs, each featuring a different type of Australian produce. Wheat. Beef. Butter. The series was designed and engraved by George Lissenden, and was Rotary recessed-printed on Unwatermarked paper. The stamps are perforated 14.50 x 14.65.  The series was printed in sheets of 50 in a se-tenant arrangement of the three designs. This means that the Butter and Wheat stamps appeared 17 times on the sheet, and the Beef stamp appeared 16 times. It is also worth noting that the three stamp sequence changed on each row. The total number of Butter and Wheat stamps printed was 19,549,830 and the Beef stamp was printed 18,399,840 times (2015 Australian Commonwealth Specialists' Catalogue for Queen Elizabeth II 1952-1966, page 8/28-32).

Let’s take a look now at the different types of the “Retouch Beneath Milking Cup on Cow”.

Type I

Type II

Type III

Type IV

Type V

Type VI

Type VII


Type IX

Type X

Type XI

Type XII

Until my next blog.

Happy Stamping!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

History of the Mail Coach with a stamp from Sweden.

Eigil Schwab, born on 28 March 1882 in Stockholm, was an immensely talented Swedish artist. Schwab studied at the Higher School of Arts and Design in Stockholm and The Academy of Fine Arts. Proficient in many areas of art, he particularly excelled as a painter, graphic artist, illustrator and cartoonist.

Schwab began his career as a portrait painter, but soon after he moved on to be a political-satirical cartoonist in the newspaper Sunday Nisse Protruding notch anchor (a Swedish satirical Magazine, published in 1913-22) and Lutfisken, a Swedish Yearbook for Sunday Nisse.

During his lifetime he produced a number of posters, book covers and magazine drawings and illustrations. Particularly interesting are Schwab’s illustrations for Frida's book and Ådalen’s poetry, and in the book series Sweden.

In later life Eigil Schwab returned to landscape and still life painting. His work can be found at the National Museum in Stockholm and the National Portrait Gallery. He died on 4 July 1952.


The history of the mail coach can be traced back to Great Britain. A man by the name of John Palmer, who owned a theatre in Bath, believed that the coach service he was running to transport actors and materials between theatres could actually serve as a nationwide postal service. In 1782, Palmer sold his theatre interests and went to London to campaign his idea to the Post Office. Senior Post Office staff opposed the idea. They were of the belief that the current speed of mail delivery could not be improved. William Pitt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, disagreed. He showed great interest in the concept.  

On 2 August 1784 an experimental mail coach journey from Bristol to London was undertaken at Palmer's expense. The coach left Bristol at 4pm on 2 August. It reached London at 8am the following day, exactly on schedule. A journey that had originally taken up to 38 hours now took just 16 hours.
The mail coach was slowly phased out in the 1840s-50s to be replaced by trains as the railway network expanded.

On the 28 September 1971 Sweden issued a stamp based on an oil painting in the Postal Museum, Stockholm by Eigil Schwab. The stamp was engraved by Czeslaw Slania. The stamp vividly depicts a mail coach, heavily-laden with mail bags, being pulled over rough terrain by three stout horses. The detail Slania has managed to incorporate into this engraving is nothing short of superb.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A look at the Sweden 1966 National Museum stamps engraved by Czeslaw Slania

The Sweden National Museum was established in 1792 as Kungliga Museet ("Royal Museum"). The current building was opened in 1866 and renamed the National Museum. It is located on the Blasieholmen Peninsula in central Stockholm.

Construction on the current building began in 1844 and it was completed in 1866. It was designed by German architect, Friedrich August Stüler. The design drew inspiration from North Italian Renaissance Architecture.

The museum houses close to half a million drawings from the Middle Ages up to 1900, including a Rembrandt and Dutch 17th Century collection. The museum also holds a collection of porcelain items, paintings, sculptures, and modern art. In addition, the museum has an art library, open to the public and academics alike. And it has a restaurant which opened in 1996.

I should also mention that the museum is currently closed for renovations and should re-open in 2018.

On 26 March 1966 Sweden issued a set of two stamps to celebrate the Centenary of the National Museum. The stamps were engraved by Czeslaw Slania. The design shows the Entrance Hall of the Museum. The same design was used on both values. The first stamp has a face value of 30o and is violet in colour and the second has a face value of 2.30k and is olive green..

My eye is immediately drawn to the three people standing at the bottom of the staircase at the bottom right of the stamp. To me it looks like a mother, father and daughter in their finery preparing to walk inside. You have to agree the detail is absolutely astounding.

As with many stamps Slania engraved, he has left a personal touch in these stamps by including LODZIA (short for Leokadija) which was the name of his sister. This is written in a V shape across the gown.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Australia 1937 6d Kookaburra CofA Watermark Perf 13½ x 14 Varieties

I recently purchased two 1937 6d Kookaburra's both CofA Watermark Perf 13½ x 14 with two different varieties. The varieties are Curl over "I" of "Australia" and Flaw on "S" of "Australia". I am a member of a great stamp forum known as The Grumpy Old Men's Club, and purchased these from a fellow member. Thanks Jubilee.

This stamp was released on 2nd August 1937 as part of the Zoological Definitive Series. The design of the 6d Kookaburra was decided, however the design was altered to copy a photograph.

The stamps in this series and their denominations are:

     ½d Orange Kangaroo
     4d Green Koala
     5d Mauve Merino
     6d Brown Kookaburra
     9d Sepia Platypus
     1/- Dull Green Lyrebird

In today's blog I will show you both the varieties Curl over "I" of "Australia" and Flaw on
"S" of "Australia".

These stamps were printed in sheets of 160 (2 panes, each with 10 rows of 8) on watermarked (CofA) paper and perforated 13½ x 14. It was recess-printed in Brown by John Ash.

These are two listed varieties of three known on the CofA Watermark Perf 13½ x 14 issue.

The first variety we will look at is the Curl over "I" of "Australia", which is located on ShA R2/1.

Curl over "I" of "Australia" Variety

Curl over "I" of "Australia", close up of the variety

The second variety we are going to look at is the Flaw on "S" of "Australia" located on ShA L9/7.

Flaw on "S" of "Australia" Variety

Flaw on "S" of "Australia", close up of the variety

There were four printings of this stamp made between May 1937 and December 1940 with a total of 33,600,000 stamps issued.

There is one other variety on this stamp, it is the Flaw on first "A" of "Australia" which I still need to acquire.

Until my next blog.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Mountains of the Australian Antarctic Territory

On the 12th March 2013 Australia Post released a set of stamps showing different Mountains/Ranges in Antarctica. There are four in total Mount Parsons, Mawson Escarpment, South Masson Range and David Range.

The denominations of these stamps are 2 x 60c, 1 x $1.20 and 1 x $1.80 and are perforated 13.76 x 14.6.

These stamps were issued to continue the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) Landscape series which began with the Iceberg issue in June 2011.

Antarctica is the highest continent on earth with Mount McClintock (11,450ft / 3490 meters), in the Eastern Sector of the AAT being the highest mountain. Elevations in the Western sector of the AAT exceed 13,123ft / 4000 meters, although these are ice domes and are generally not considered as mountains.

The first 60c stamp shows Mount Parsons is a 3,675ft / 1,120m mountain peak in Antarctica and is located within the David Range, it also ranks as the 2046th highest mountain in Antarctica.

Mount Parsons was mapped by Norwegians in 1936-37 by aerial photos taken by the Lars Christensen Expedition. In January 1956, the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) led by John Bechervaise visited the peak.

It was names by Antarctic Names Committee of Australia (ANCA) for Neville Parsons, who was a cosmic ray physicist at Mawson Station, in 1955.

The next 60c stamp is Mawson Escarpment is a flat-topped west facing escarpment which extends in a North-South direction for 70 miles / 112km which runs along  the east side of the Lambert Glacier.

This escarpment was discovered by Flying Officer J. Seaton of the RAAF and he was part of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) while on a investigation flight in November 1956.

This escarpment was named by the Antarctic Names Committee of Australia (ANCA) for Sir Douglas Mawson.

The $1.20 stamp is the South Masson Range in to three parts Northern, Central and Southern. This stamps is of the southern part and rises to 3510ft / 1,070m and extends to 2 mile in a NE-SW arc.

In 1929-31 Masson Range was discovered and named by the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE), under Sir Douglas Mawson.

The South Masson Range was mapped by Norwegians in 1936-37 by aerial photos taken by the Lars Christensen Expedition.

The approved name South Masson Range was suggested by the Antarctic Names Committee of Australia (ANCA) in 1960.

The $1.80 stamp is of the David Range which is located 5 miles west of Masson Range which it runs parallel, in the Framnes Mountains. The David Range extends 16 miles / 25km in a NNE-SSW direction, with peaks rising to 4921ft / 1,500 meters.

The Range was discovered in February 1931 by the British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) under Sir Douglas Mawson, who named it for Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Nice Little Flaw on Australian 1953 3½d Young Farmer's Clubs SG267

The Australia 1953 3½d Young Farmer's Clubs SG267
Released on 3rd September 1953 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Young Farmers Club. The organisation was founded in New South Wales in 1928.
The stamp features a Jersey Calf and two childen.
These stamps were in sheets of 100 (10 rows of 10) on Unwatermarked paper and perforated 14¾ x 14½. It was also the first recess-printed stamp to be bicoloured (Red-Brown and Green).
This is one listed variety of two known as the "7" shaped flaw under "3" of 1953, which is located at Sh? 6/2. I was lucky enough to find one recently.
I am a confused with the "Sh?" can anyone please clarify this?

A total of 27,279,300 of this stamp were issue, making over 227,000 sheets.
The best known variety on this stamp is a colour shift where the brown vignette must fall outside of the green border.